There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

Firemonkeys' eagerly-anticipated Real Racing 3 is the first free-to-play entry in the popular mobile racing franchise. How far you can get without paying real money depends entirely on how much patience you possess—do you mind waiting 10 minutes for tire repair?

Car damage and wear is not an imaginary thing, so it certainly falls within the purview of Real Racing 3. Racers that throw caution to the wind and trade paint with their opponents will find themselves shelling out in-game cash to fix up their fenders. I like the idea of having to pay for your mistakes. I don't like the idea of having to sit and wait while those mistakes get fixed.

Even careful drivers will find themselves waiting out a timer as they deal with normal vehicle wear and tear. No one slashed the tires on my 2010 Ford Focus. They just wear down.

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

To help ease the wallet hit for pricey repairs, players can purchase cash via the in-game store.

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

To speed up repairs, players can earn or purchase gold. I've only been playing the game for a short while now, and I've gotten plenty of gold as rewards for racing, but I could see a more enthusiastic driver burning through the offered inventory quickly.

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

You start the game with enough cash to purchase a single car. The idea is to win more races, earn cash and bonuses, and spend the money (leftover after repairs) to purchase a new ride. Again, a more patient racer should have no problem. Me? I started poking about the game's car bundles immediately.

There are several packs to choose from in the early version of the game, ranging from $1.99 to $19.99. Having driven the same stupid blue car (paint is expensive) for the past couple of hours, I'm ready for something new.

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

There are Plenty of Ways to Pay in the Free-to-Play Real Racing 3S

Real Racing 3 doesn't come out in North America until next week—I obtained this copy by pretending to be from New Zealand—so there's a chance these prices could change before it hits stateside. Considering the game connected me to the U.S. store when trying to make in-app purchases, I'm pretty sure these are set.

Real Racing 3 is a lovely game thus far, despite the copious amounts of waiting and the temptation to purchase upgrades worth more than the asking prices for the first two games combined. How much would you pay?